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Inbound & Industry 4.0: The Perfect Recipe for Manufacturing Marketers

Why an alignment between Industry 4.0 and inbound marketing creates an ideal methodology for business growth.
BY Ollie Roddy - July 06, 2016

As we accelerate further into this digital age, opportunities to reach and build trust with our customers is becoming more and more accessible, even for global entities with large and complex supply chains.

The manufacturing industry is entering a digital revolution; Industry 4.0. Traditional production methods are now in the shadows of a digital transformation. But we’re not simply talking about adopting automation technologies to make value chains more efficient; this has been done since the 70s. Industry 4.0 is seeing industrial companies becoming entire digital enterprises, utilising big data, reducing costs on product development and placing massive emphasis on customer integration.

Here’s why manufacturers should look to leverage inbound marketing tactics to build deeper relationships with end users and offer a digital experience that aligns with the changes in buying behaviour.

Data Driven Research 
Inbound marketing relies on data to merely exist, as it’s the compound to pretty much all operations. So when it comes to the industrial industry, it’s no different. ‘Comprehensive data analytics are the prerequisite for successful implementation of digital enterprise applications.’ - PwC 2016.

Using big data is driving decision making, presenting a more 360, holistic view of your entire market. Data can be analysed endlessly, however for an effective customer retention plan you need to be looking at the information that will enable you to make sense of market developments, study the shifts in buying behaviour and look into improving or expanding on your product portfolio to reflect societal demands. The concept of being hyper-connected to people, devices and systems at all times plays into your marketing hands, in that you can access customer data and analyse how they interact with your company and utilise your products. In providing the right products and technology, based on in-depth insight, customers are more likely to value your digital offerings and develop a trust in your brand.

Industrial Lead Generation
Manufacturers who begin to adopt the Industry 4.0 applications and action changes within their organisation to make it a viable business model will be creating strategies that are customer centric. Placing end users at the heart of value chains and R&D will essentially produce a more targeted offering that appeals to the evolving demands of consumers.

The shifts in how we consume content have arisen due to the advancement in technology such as the use of smartphones, which grew by 78% from 2013 - 2015. This market intelligence should be used to form cross channel marketing communications that effectively reduce lead time and makes better use of distribution channels. For effective lead generation to occur within a manufacturing 4.0 environment, you need to implement digital platforms that foster a collaborative relationship, ensuring these platforms encourage increased interaction throughout the all stages of the journey. 


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Customer Relationship Management 

Back in the days of Yore, marketing was a shameless ploy used to promote the company’s agenda and services without any thought behind the channel or platform they were using to connect to this wide, generic audience. However as aforementioned, a customer centric approach means you can apply Industry 4.0 capabilities in response to cultural shifts and produce customised items.

This customisation and personalisation is another paradigm shift towards a world where we’ll all know each other's names, average monthly heating bill and favourite roast dinner condiment. Customers want a unique experience, proving that businesses understand their individual pains and have taken the time to tailor marketing messages specific to what they need.

Customer integration also gives room for marketers to not only respond to change, but anticipate it, developing bespoke digital products with agility. This has dual benefits; one in that it helps to retain customers, and the other in that it maximises your sales potential and adds to business growth.

Don’t put yourself in a position to be trampled on by the first movers of Industry 4.0. Use our free Digital Grader and get a detailed analysis into where your digital marketing is, the opportunities in your market, and what your marketing strategy needs to look like. 

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